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mont and also of East Jersey; and in proportion that she exports the produce of other States she also imports for them. Not a third of what she imports is consumed in her own State. It is the commodious situation of the port of New York, soon in, and soon out to sea, and not to any thing in the Governor's catalogue of pastoral compliments, that gives New York a superiority in commerce over Philadelphia.
It ought also to be remarked, that the course of commerce has undergone considerable changes within a few years. In the first place, it was the policy of the English Government to keep the several colonies, as they were then called, separate and unconnected with each other; and as New York was possessed by the British during the war, the conveniences of New York as a port of rendezvous was not known.
After the war, the case was, that the Eastern States were the carriers for the Southern States; and the case now is, that the sea-vessels of the Eastern States make New York their port of rendezvous, where they load with the produce of the Southern States, brought to New York by coasting vessels, and export it to Europe—such as the articles already mentioned, tobacco, rice, cotton, indigo, pitch, tar, turpentine, and rosin. Not less than between forty and fifty seavessels that appear as if they belonged to the port of New York, are New England built, and owned by persons in New England, of which several are of New Bedford, and come to New York for freight or charter. Governor Lewis shouid have informed himself of all these matters before he undertook to commit himself in a speech to the Legislature about exports or imports.
I now come to remark on another passage in the Governor's speech immediately following the passage already quoted.
"Similarcauses,"says the Governor, " have produced similar effects in Great Britain, a country unequalled in agriculture, arts, manufactures, and commerce. It is but little more than fifty years since her attention was earnestly turned to the facilities of internal intercourse. From that period her exports have been progressing and have nearly attained to an increase of four hundred per cent, while that of her population has not exceeded ten [per cent.] A wise Government [the Governor means by this his own administration} will not fail to improve such advantages."
If the encomiums the Governor here makes upon England were well-founded, which they are not, they would, nevertheless, be ill-timed.
In the condition Europe is now in, it is best not to make any speechifying allusion to one part that may offend some other part; but the encomiums he makes are fallacious. As to the agriculture of England, the fact is, that beside not victualling its own navy, which is victualled by Ireland, it does not produce grain enough for the support of its own inhabitants, and were it not for the cargoes of wheat and other grain which England procures from the United States and from the Baltic, the people would be in a starving condition. In point of quality the French wheat is superior to the English.
As to Great Britain being unequalled in "ARTS," as the Governor has not said what arts he means, the expression is too vague and general to admit of remarks. There are all sorts of arts, even down to the black art. The English Government has the art of taxing the people till thousands of them cannot buy a Sunday dinner; and the church has the art of picking their pockets by tythes for the good of their souls. In what are called the fine arts the English are inferior to the Southern nations of Europe; and in the invention of new arts the French are superior to the English. The art of sailing in the air by balloons, by means of which the face of a large extent of country and the position of an enemy can be reconnoitred, and the art of communicating information to the distance of two or three hundred miles in two or three hours, by telegraphs, are French inventions. And certainly the Governor does not mean the military art. If he does, I leave him to settle that matter with Buonaparte.
As to " manufactures," which makes another item of the Governor's encomiums, the case is, that every nation excels in some, and no nation excels in all. The French excel the English in every article of silk manufacture, and in the manufacture of superfine broad cloth. The broad cloth in France, called cloth of Lovain, is as much beyond an English superfine as an English superfine is beyond a second cloth. The French also excel in every article of glass manufacture, plate-glass, window-glass, and hollow glass ware, and those articles are also cheaper in France than in England. The English excel the French in the cotton manufacture, but as the machinery for it, which was the invention of Richard Arkwright, an English barber, is now made in France, and in other parts of Europe, the monopoly of that manufacture to England will cease.
As to commerce, with which the Governor completes his climax of encomiums, it is difficult to say anything about it. A state of war is not favourable to commerce or to manufactures that depend on exportation. England being an island, can have no foreign commerce but by sea, and she is now shut out from all the ports of the European continent. Whereas, France being situated on the continent, has the range of the continent by land. She can trade by land to Portugal, Spain, Italy, all Germany, Austria, Poland, Denmark, and, if she pleases, to Constantinople without going to sea. The expense of this war has shewn that navies are useless with respect to commerce. The English navy, great and expensive as it is, can do nothing to benefit the commerce of England. That navy is now a dead weight upon the nation.
If Governor Lewis wanted to fill up a paragraph in his speech about the condition of England, he might have done it much better than he has done.
Instead of far-fetched allusions and ill-founded encomiums, unwisely forced into notice, he might in speaking of England have exhibited the melancholy spectacle of a nation ruining itself by wars, navies, and national debts, till every seventh person in that unfortunate country is a pauper.*
He might have expatiated on the dreadful effects of CorRuption, and produced the conduct of the British Government as a warning of the danger. He might have held up the insolvency of the Bank of England as a memento against the fatal consequences of multiplying banks or increasing the quantity of bank paper. There is something rotten in the condition of England, that ought to operate as a warning and not as an example.
AN OLD CITIZEN OF THE UNION. Feb. 23, 1807.
* The population of England consists of eight millions of souls. The number of paupers, according to an account given to Parliament two years ago, was one million two hundred thousand!
A Gun-boat, carrying heavy metal, is a moveable fortification ; aud there is no mode or system of defence the United States can go into for coasts and harbours or ports, that will be so effectual as by gun- boats.
Ships of the line are no ways fitted for the defence of a coast. They are too bulky to act in narrow waters, and cannot act at all in shoal waters. Like a whale, they must be in deep water, and at a distance from land.
Frigates require less room to act in than ships of the line; but a frigate is a feeble machine compared with a gun-boat. Were a frigate to carry and discharge the same weight of metal and hall that a gun-boat can do, it would shake her to pieces. The timbered strength of every ship of war is in proportion to the weight of metal she is to carry, and the weight of metal she is to be exposed to. The sides of a frigate are not proof against the weight of a ball that a gunboat can discharge. The difference between two ships of war is not so much in their number of guns as in their weight of metal.
I remember the late Commodore Johnson saying in the British House of Commons, at the commencement of the American war, that "a single gun, in a retired situation, would drive a ship of the line from her moorings. I mention this, (said he) that too much may not be expected from the navy."
A gun-boat can carry a gun of the same weight of metal and hall that a ship of an hundred guns can carry; and she carries it to the greatest possible advantage. The shot from a gun-boat is a horizontal shot. The gun is fixed in a frame that slides in a groove, and when the man at the helm brings the head of the boat to point at the ship, the gun is pointed with it . When a ship fights with her starboard or larboard gnus, she presents the whole broadside of the ship to the object she fires at. A gun-boat fights only with her head, that is, with the gun at her head, and when she fires at an object she presents only the breadth of the boat to that object. Suppose, then, a boat to be ten feet broad and two feet out of the water (I speak here of boats intended for the defence of the coast, and of towns situated near the coast, and to carry a gun of the same weight of metal and hall that a ship of the line carries), such a boat will present a space to be fired at equal to twenty square feet, that is, ten feet horizontal length (being the breadth of the boat) and two feet perpendicular height, being the height of the boat out of the water. Suppose, on the other hand, that a ship be an hundred feet long and ten feet high out of the water, she will present a space to be fired at equal to one thousand square feet, that is, a hundred multiplied by ten. It is probable that a ship, in firing at a gun-boat, would fire one of her bow guns, because in so doing she apparently shortens about one half of her length; but she can fire but one gun at a time in this angular position.
But the gun-boat has other chances in her favour besides what arise from the different dimensions of the two objects. If a shot from the ship, though in a straight line with the boat, passes more than two feet above the water at the place where the boat is, it will pass over the boat without striking it. But a shot from the boat that is too high to strike the ship, may strike the mast and carry it away. It is by this means that masts are carried away. The shot that does it passes clear above the ship, and spends its whole force upon the mast. Again, if a shot from the ship pass an inch or two wide of the boat, it can do her no injury. But a shot from the boat that passes five or six inches wide of the body of the ship at the stern, may unship or carry away her rudder. This, and the carrying away a mast, are the two most fatal accidents that can befal a ship; yet neither of them can happen to a gun-boat.
Of the number of men killed or wounded in a ship, the greater part of them are not by cannon balls, but by splinters from the inside of the ship that fly in all directions; but the sides of a gun-boat not being thick like the sides of a ship, a ball would pass through without splinters; and as an effectual way to prevent splinters, should any happen or be apprehended, the sides of the boat on the inside should be lined with a strong netting made of cord, which the men can make themselves. The cabins of French ships are frequently lined in this manner.
Musketry can be used by ship against ship in close action, but cannot be used against a gun-boat, because a gunboat drawing but little water, not more than two and a half or three feet, and depending upon oars, can always keep out of the reach of musketry. The proper distance for a gun